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Economic Situation and Cultural Direction through the Works of Lyeohang Gagaek - Focusing on the case of Kim Cheontaek and Kim Sujang

  • The Studies in Korean Poetry and Culture
  • Abbr : Korean Poetry and Culture
  • 2012, (29), pp.5-32
  • Publisher : The Society of Korean Poetry and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

Jaeheon Kang 1

1충남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

It was Lyeohang Gagaeks who led the group of Sijo singers in the late period of Chosun Dynasty. They are based on the social class 'Lyeohangin'. Lyeohangin was the major member of Seoul population in the late period of Chosun Dynasty and a social class who first lived in Seoul and second, engaged in the public works and had a great economic power. Despite of it, they had the inherent limit in social position - not belong to Yangban (noble class) - and had a status recognition by calling themselves as 'Gungin (窮人)'. Kim Cheontaek and Kim Sujang who led the group of artists in the 18th century are also Lyeohangin who meet these three conditions. Kim Cheontaek had a title of Pogyo but had an economic power enough to have his own house in the residential area of military nobility around the Namsan. Considering the housing status of Seoul at that time, this represents his considerable economic power. Thus his economic situation must be rich and affluent like other Lyeohangin. Based on this economic power, he had the high brow cultural direction which led to the collection of old swords and the creation of the works of drinking and the regular Sijo music. Kim Sujang as Seori, had an economic superiority to Kim Cheontaek. Based on his economic power, he built his house in Hwagae-dong, a place of superb scenic beauty and could be the head of the group of artists. However, such economic power that he had appears on his works with decadent cultural trend. Other than the high toned contents of Kim Cheontaek, such trend was reflected in the creation of variant Sijo music of Kim Sujang who has involved with various women, and appears on his work. Lyeohang gagaek expressed the cultural direction suitable for their aiming on their works based on their own economic power.

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